On Thursday the Texas Rangers will start a four game series against the Minnesota Twins. This series is important for the Rangers, they will be going in with at least a half game lead in the American League West and a possible game and a half lead depending on how their game ends tonight.
The Twins are definitely a team the Rangers should beat and this is a series they should win three if not all four of the games. Just looking through the pitching match ups it is pretty easy to assume the Rangers will win this series.
Game one is between Nick Tepesch and Vance Worley. Tepesch left his last start early after being hit with a ball off the bat of Seattle Mariners’ Jesus Montero, but he has looked good in both of his other starts. His first career start which was against the Tampa Bay Rays shows what the Rangers will expect from Tepesch.
Worley has good stuff on the mound but the pressure to be the number one in Minnesota seems to be to much for him. He is zero and two in four starts with a 7.11 ERA. Not only does he have the pressure to lead the rotation, he has the pressure of only nine runs of support in his four starts. The Rangers should take game one in a close match.
Game two features Justin Grimm and Scott Diamond. Grimm made his first start of the year against the Mariners and threw six innings giving up just one run. The Mariners lineup isn’t much worse than the Twins. Grimm shouldn’t have any more trouble getting through Minnesota than he did with Seattle.
Diamond is making his third start this season and he has been alright in his first two. One and One with a 4.35 ERA in just 10.1 innings pitched. He has pitched in the majors before and has a substantial amount more experience than Grimm (one season) but the Rangers lineup can crush him. Rangers take game two.
Game three is a matchup between Derek Holland and Pedro Hernandez. Holland has been pretty good this year. He is just one and one but in 27.2 innings he has given up just 19 hits for an opponents average under .200. Holland has something to prove this year in the eyes of the Rangers so I expect a lot out of him. I don’t know a whole lot about Hernandez but this will be his second start of the season and fourth overall game. In 10.1 innings he has a 3.48 ERA with his one start being against the Baltimore Orioles for five innings. I say this will be a close game but the Rangers take it from the Twins bullpen in one of the four innings they will need to throw.
The final game will show Alexi Ogando and Kevin Correia. Ogando is known for how hard he throws and his transition from rotation to bullpen and back. I still question whether or not Ogando will be able to handle being a starter for a full season but having only thrown 26 innings so far he should still be pretty fresh. Correia is the most experienced pitcher who will throw in this series. In a total of 294 games pitched he has started 163 of them. He is two and one on this season with a 2.86 ERA in 28.1 innings pitched. He has been pretty good, especially in comparison to his companions in the Twins rotation.
The final game is the only game that I don’t completely believe the Rangers should win. But they still have a pretty good chance. The Rangers should easily take this series and realistically could come home off of a sweep.